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Review of EducationalResearchl

Spring 2001, VoL 71, No. 1,pp. 1-27

Extrinsic Rewards and Intrinsic Motivation in


Education: Reconsidered Once Again
Edward L. Deci
University of Rochester

Richard Koestner
McGill Univervitv

Richard M. Ryan
University,of Rochester
The finding that exlrinsic rewvards can undernineintrinsic motivation has been
highly controveisialsin.e itfirstoppeared(Deci, 1971). A meta-analysis pub-

lished in this journal (Cameron & Pierce 1994) conc:luded thlat tlhe underiniing effect was minimal and largely inmonsequentiialforeducationalpolicy.
However, a more recent meta-analysis (D)eci, Koestner, & Ryan, 1999)
showed that the Cameron andPie ce meta-analysiswas seriousvh flawed and
that its conclusions i-ere incorrect. This article briefly r eviews the results of
the more recent meta-analysis,which showed that tangible rewardsdo indeed
have a substantial undermining effrct. The meta-analysis provided strong
supportforcognitive evaluation theorv (Deci & Ryan, 1980), vhich Carneron
and Pierce had advocated abandoning.The results aie briefly discussed in
terms of their relevance for educationalpractice.
Gold stars, best-student awards, honor roles, pizzas for reading, and other
reward-focused incentive systems have long been part of the cu-rreticy of schools.
Typically intended to motivate or reinforce student learning, such techniques have
been widely advocated by some educators, although, in recent years, a few cominentators have questioned their widespread use. The coitroversy has been
prompted in part by psychological research that has demonstrated negative effects
of extrinsic rewards on students' intrinsic motivation to learn. Some studies have
suggested that, rather than always being positive niotivators, rewards can at tines
undermine rather than enhance self-motivation, ctuiosi-ty, interest, and persistence
at learning tasks. Because of the widespread ose of rewards in schools, a carefui
summary of reward effects on intrinsic motivation would seemt to be of consi(lerable importance for educators.
Accordingly, in the Fall 1994 issue of Review oaf Fducational Research,
Cameron and Pierce (1994) presented a meta-analysis of extrinsic reward effects
on ir.trinsic motivation, concluding that, overall, rewards do not decrease mttrinsic
motivation. Implicitly acknowledging that intrinsic motivation is important foi
learning and adjustment in educational setitings (see. e.g., Ryan & La Guardia,
1999), Cameron and Pierce nonetheless stated that "teachers have no reason to
I

Dec.i, Koestner. cnl Ryan

resist ~imiplementi.ngilcentive systems in the classroom" (p. 397). Thev also advocated abandoning Deci and Ryan's (1980) cogniitive evaluation tleory (CET),
which had initially been lormulated to explain both positive and negative reward
effects on irtrinsic motivation.
In the Spring 1996 issue of RER, three comlmenitaries were published (Kohn,
1996: Lepper, Keavney, & Drake, 1996: Ryan & Dcci, 1996) arguing that Cameron
and Pierce's meta-analysis was flawed anid that its conclusions were unwarranted.
In that sanie issue, C.ameron and Pierce (1996) responded to the comnIentaries by
claiming that, rather than reanalyzing the data, the authors of the three conmmentaries had suggested "that the findings are invalid due to intentional bias, deliberate misrepresentation, and inept analysis" (p. 39). Subtitling their response "Protests
and Accusations Do Not Alter the Results," Cameron and Pierce stated that aniy
meaningful c iticism of their aricle would have to include a reanalysis of the data.
Subsequent to that interchange, Fisenberger and Cameron (1996) published an article in the American Psychologist summarizing the Cameronl and Pierce (1994)
nmeta-analysis and claiming that the so-cal'ed undermining of intrinsic motivation
by extrinsic rewards, which they said had become accepted as reality, was in fact
largely a myth.
We do not claim that there was "intentional bias" or "deliberate misrepresentatxon" in either the Cameron and Pierce (1994) meta-analysis or the Eisenberger and
Camneron (1996) article, but we do believe, as Ryan and Deci argued in 1996, that
Cameron and Plierce used somiC inappropriate procedures and made numerous
ernrs in tneir meta-analysis. 'herefore, because we believe the problems with their
meta-anaivsis made their conclusions invalid, because we agree that a useful critique
of their article nmust involve reanalysis of the data, and because the issue of reward
effcets on intrinsic motivation is extremely important for educators, we performed
a new meta-analysis of reward effects on intrinsic motivation (Deci, Koester, &
Ryan, 1999). Our Ineta-analysis included 128 experiments, organized so as to
provide a test of CET, much as Cameron and Pierce had done. The new mnetaanalysis, which we summarize in this article, showed that, in fact, tangible rewards
do significantlv and substantiallv undermineinthinsic motivation. The meta-analysis
provided strong support ior CER' and made clear that there is indeed reason for
teachers to exercise great care when using reward-based incentive systems.
The new meta-analysis was published in Psychological Bulletin (Deci ct al,
1999). Included in that article was an appendix table (here reproduced with permission as Table I a) listing every study in the meta-analysis and explaining exactly
where enors were made by Cameron and Picrce, how our meta-analysis corrected
their errors, and what studies were included in ours that had been overlooked or
onhitted bv them. The table allows interested readers to see for themselves exactly
how it is that Carmeron and Pierce's meta-analysis and our ineta-analysis anived at
such diff.erent conclusions.
In the seven years since the publication of Cameron and Pierce's (1994) article,
academics, school administrators, and classroom teachers from many countries
have spoken to uIs about the article, makihng it clear that the conclusions of the article had been widely disseminated and that the issue of reward effects is of considerable interest to educators around the world. Given the great importance of this
issue for education, then, the current article is intended to set the record straight for
the many readers of RER. In this article, we provide a brief description of CEr,
2

Extrinsic Rewards and IntrinsicMotivation


because it has guided much of the research in the field. This is followed by a summary of the methods and results of our meta-analysis and, finally, a discussion of
the relevance of the results for education.

Cognitive Evaluation Theory


CET proposes that underlying intrinsic motivation are the innate psychological
needs for competence and self-deterimination. Accordfing to the theory, the effects
on intrinsic motivation of external events such as the offering of rewards, the delivery of evaluations, the setting of deadlines, and other notivational inputs are a
function of how these events influence a person's perceptions of competence andl
self-detenmination. Events that decrease perceived self-determination (i.e., that
lead to a more extemal perceived locus of causality) will undermine intrinsic notivation, whereas those that increase perceived self-detenrination (i.e., that lead to
a m]ore internal net ceived locus of causality) will enhance intrinsic motivation. Furthernore, events that increase perceived competence will enhance intrinsic motivation so long as they are accompanied by perceived self-detemination (e.g.,
Ryan, 1982), and those that decrease perceived competence will dininish intrinsic motivation. Finally, rewards (and other external events) have two aspects. The
iffo nnahional aspect conveys self-deteimined competence and thus enhances
intrinsic motivation. In contrast, the controlling aspect prompts an external perceived locus of causality (i.e., low perceived self-determ3ination) and thus undermines intrihsic motivation.
As noted, CET applies not orny to reward effects but to the effects of various
other external factors such as evaluations (Smith, 1975), deadlines (Amabile,
DeJong, & Lepper, 1976), competition (Deci, Betley. Kahle, Abrams, & Porac,
1981), and externally imposed goals (Mossholder, 1980), as well as to the general
climate of classrooms, schools, anid other interpersonal settings (e.g., Deci, Connell,
& Ryan, 1989: Deci, Schwartz, Sheinman, & Ryan, 1981). In this article, however,
we focus only on CET as an explanation for reward effects.
In making predictions about reward effects on intrinsic motivation, CET analyzes the type of reward and the type of reward contingency to determine whether
the reward is likely to be experienced as informational or controlling. The theory
acknowledges that insome cases both the informational and controlling aspects
will be somewhat salient, so, in those situations, additional factors are taken into
account in making predictions. We begin our discussion of CET's reward-effect
predictions by distinguishing between verbal rewards and tangible rewards, conIsidering verbal rewards first and then moving on to tangible rewards.
Verbal Rewards

Aithough we do not usually use the term verbal rewards, preferring instead to
speak of "positive feedback," we do use that term here in order to include the
positive-feedback studies within the general category of reward effects. Verbal
rewards typically contain explicit positive perfornance feedback, so CET predicts
that they are likely to enhance perceived competence and thus enhance intrinisic
motivation. In the meta-analysis, we tested the hypothesis that verbal rewards
would enhance intrinsic motivation.
Nonetheless, verbal rewards can have a significant controlling aspect leading
peoplc to engage in behaviors specifically go gain praise, so verbal rewards have
3

Deci, Koestner, aind Ryan

the potential to undermine intrinsic motivation. The theory therefore suggests that
the interpersonal context within wlich positive feedback is adrninistered can influence whether it wili be interpreted as informational or controlling. As used here,
the term interpersonalcontext refers to the social amnbience of settings, such as
classrooms, as they influence people's experience of self-detenninaton (I)eci &
Ryani, 199 1). When studied in laboratory experinmets, thc interpersonal climate is
usually manipulated in terms of the interpersonal style used by the experimenter
when providing the feedback (e.g., Ryan, 1982; Ryan, Miins, & Koestner, 1983).
An interpersonal context is considered controlling to the extent that people feel
pressured by it to think, feel, or behave in particular ways. Verbal rewards administered within such a context are thus more likely to be experienced as controlling
rather than informational. For examiple, CFT suggests that if a teacher uses an
interpersonal style intended to make students do what he or she wants them to, verbal rewards administered by that teacher are likely to be expenienced as controlling. ina supplemiiental meta-analysis involving five studies, we tested the prediction
that controlling positive feedbaci woul.d lead to less intrinsic motivation than inforinational positive feedback.
7anagibleRewvar&d
Unlike:verbal rewards, tangible rewards are freqsuently offered to people as an
inducement to engage in a behavior in which they nmight not otherwise engage.
Thus, according to CET, tangible rewards will tend to be experienced as controlling, and as a result they will tend to decrease intrinsic mrotivation. The metaanalysis tested the hypothesis that, overall, tangible rewards would decrease intrinsic
motivation.

In order for tangible rewards to be experienced as controlling, however, people


would need to be engaging in the behavior for the rewards; that is, they would need
to expect that the behavior would lead to the rewards. If tangible rewards are given
unexpectedly to people after they have finished a task, the rewards are less likely
to be experienced as the reason for doing the task and are thus less likely to be detrimental to intritisic motivation. The meta-analysis tested the hyrothesis that unexpected tangible rewards would not undermine intrinsic motivation, whereas
expected tangible rewards would.
Expected tangible rewards can be administered throughi various contingencies;
that is, they can be made contingent upon different aspects of task-related behavior.
hi making more refined predictions about the effects of expected tangible rewards on
irtrinsic miiotivation, GET takes account of task contingenicy. Ryan et ai. (i 983) specified three types of reward contingencies: task-noncontingentrewards, which do not
require engaging in the activity per se but are instead given for some other reasoni
such as simply partcipating in the experiiment; task-rontingent rewards, whiCl
require doing or completing die target activity; andperfrinnance-contingentrewards,
which require performing the activity well, matching a standard of excellence, or surpassing a spccified criterion (e.g., doing better than half of the oilier participants).
A further distinction has been made between task-contingent rewards that specifically require completing.t3he target task (herein referred to as completion-condngent

rewards) and those thtat require engaging in thic activity but do not require complet
ing it (herein referred to as engagement-conpingentrewards). We (e.g., DCci & Ryan,
1985) have considered the completion-contingenit and engagement-conitingent
4

Etrimlsic Rewards and IttritnicMotivation

rewards to constitute the silgle category of task-contilgent rewards because the


effects of these two reward contingencies have seemed to be remarkably similar;
however, we separated them for this meta-analysis in order to evaluate whether the
effects of completion-contingent and engagement-contingent rewards are, in fact,
the samle.
Because task-noncontingent rewards do not require doing, completing, or doing
wedl at the target task, there is no reason to expect these rewards to be experienced
as either informational or controlling with respect to the task. Accordingly, the
meta-analysis tested tle hypothesis that intrinsic motivation would not be affected
by these rewards.
Engagement-contingent rewards specifically require that people work on the
task, so the rewards are likely to be experienced as controlling the task behavior.
Because these rewards carry little or no competence affirmiation, they are urlikely
to increase perceived competence, and thus there will be nothing to counteract the
negative effects of the control. Thus, the meta-analysis tested the hypothesis that
engagement-contingent rewards would undennine intrinsic motivation.
Completion-contingent rewards require that people complete the task to obtain
the rewards, so the rewards are likely to be experienced as even more controlling
than engagement-contingent rewards. However, with completion-contingent
rewards, receipt of the rewards conveys comnpetence if' the task required skill and
the person had a normativesense of what constitutes good perforimance on the task.
To the extent that the rewards do represent competence affirmation, this implicit
positive feedback could offset sorne of the control. Still, averaged across different
types of tasks, the competence-affirming aspect of completion-contingenit rewards
is not expected to be strong relative to the controlling aspect, so we tested the
hypothesis that completion-contingent rewards would undermine intrinsic motivation at a level roughly comparable to that of engagemeent-conitingent rewards.
IParentletically, because the category of task-contingent rewards is composed of
engagement-contingent and completion-contingent rewards, we also expected this
larger category to yield significant undermining of intrinsic ntotivation.
Finally, performance-contingent rewards are linked to people's performance,
so there is even stronger control. People have to meet a standard to maximize
rewards, and thus there is a strong tendency for tihese rewards to underm-iine intrinsic miolivation. Eiowever, performance-contingent rewards can also convey substantial positive competenice information when a person receives a level of reward
that signifies excellent performance. In those cases, there would be a tendency for
performiance-continigent rewards to affirmn competence anid, tmus, to ofl'set some of
the negative effects of control. In the meta-analysis, we tested the hypothesis thiat
performance-contingent rewards would undenrine intrinsic motivation, but we also
expected that other factors would influence the effects of these rewards on intrinsic
motivation. One such factor is whether or not the level of reward implies excellent
performance. 'Thus, we examined the bypothesis that perfornance-contingent
rewards would be more undermining of intrinsic motivation if the rewards did
not convey high-quality performance.
Another factor thlat is expected to influence the effects of performance-contingent
rewards is the interpersonal context (as was the case witth verbal rewards). If the interpersonal clinate within which these rewards are adminisiered is denmanding and controlling, the rewards are expected to be more undenniniig of intrinsic motivation.
5

Deei, Koestner, and Ryan

Although few studies have manipulated the interpersonal context of performancecontingent rewards, Ryan et al. (I 983) compared a perform.ance-contingent rewards
group in which the rewards were administered in a relatively controlling manner and
one in which they were administered in a relatively non-controlling manner. As predicted, the controlling administration of perforrmance-contingent rewards led to
underm-ining of intrinsic motivation relative to the noncontrolling administration. In
terms of education, this is a particularly important finding because it sugges'ts that
when rewards are used in the classroom, it is important that the climate of the classroom be supportive rather than controlling so that the students will be less likely to
experience the rewards as controlling.
Method
Our meta-analytic strategy (Deci et at, 1999) involved a hierarchical
approach in which the results of 128 experiments were examined in two separate
mneta-analyses. The first involved 101 of the studies that had used a free-choice
behavioral measure of intrinsic motivation, and the second involved 84 of the
st.udies that had used self-reported interest as a dependent variable. In a hierarchical meta-analysis, one begins with the most general categorv and reports the
composite effect size. If the set of effects is heterogeneous, then one proceeds to
differentiate the overall category into meaningful subcategories in an attermipt to
achieve homogeneitv of effects within the subcategories. Thus, in both inetaanalyses (i.c., with the two dependent measures), we began by calculating the
effects of all rewards on intrinsic motivation and then systermatically differentiated the reward conditions. Only after we had exhausted all possible moderator
variables did we discard outliers to create homogeneity within subcategories.
Using this approach, we ended up discarding only about 4% of the effects as outliers, whereas Cameron and Pierce (1994) had discarded approximately 20% of
the effects as outliers.
In the differentiation, studies were first separated into those that examined verbal
rewards versus those that examined tangible rewards. 'hen tangible rewards, which
have been extensively studied, were analyzed as follows. 1'he effects of rewards that
were unexpected versus expected were examined separately. Studies of expected
tangible rewards were then separated into four groups, depending on what the
rewards were contingenit upon. The groups were as follows: taisk noncontingent
(rewards that did not explicitly require working on a task), engagement contingent
(rewards that did require working on the task), completion contingent (rewards that
required finishing a task), and performance contingent (rewards contingent upon a
specified level of perfornance at a task). As described subsequently, because the
perfornnance-contingent reward effects on the free-choice measure were heterogeneous, that category was furdter differentiated. Finally, in categories in which the
effect sizes were heterogeneous after all theoretically based differentiations had
been comrpleted, we compared thc effects of the reward types on schoolchildren
versus college students, an issue that had not been considered previously but
enmerged from an inspection of the data anid seemed very important in terms of the
educational relevance of the results.
Inclusion criteria for studies that spanned tie period 1971 to 1996 were the following. First, because intrinsic motivation is pertinent to tasks that people experience as interesting and because the field of inquiry has always been defined in terms
6

Extrinsic Rewards anzd IntrinsicMfotivation

of reward effects on intrinsic motivation for interesting tasks, w emcluded only sttldies or conditions within studies if the target task was at least moderately interesting
(i.e., if it either was not defined a priori as a boring task by the experimienter or did
not have a prereward interest rating below the midpoint of the scale). In contrast,
Cameron and Pierce ( 1994) had aggregated across boring and interesting tasks without even addressing the issue in their article. Second, the analyses included only
studies tlat assessed inttinsic motivation after the rewards had been clearly ternninated, because while the reward is in effect participants' behavior reflects a mnix of
intrinsic anid extrinsic motivation. Camneron and Pierce, however, included assessments which they called intrinsic motivation but which had been taken while tle
reward contingency was still in effect. 'Third, studies wer e included only if they had
an appropriate no-rewar(i control group. Cameron and Pierce had made numerous
comparisons based on questhinable selections of control groups, at times even using
inappropriate control groups when appropiiate ones were available.
In conductfing the mneta-analyses, we used Cohen's d as the measure of efiect
size. It reflects the difference between the means of two groups divided by the
pooled within-group standard deviations, adjusted for sample size (H1edges &
Olkin, 1985). The mean of the control group was subtracted from the mean of the
rewards group, so a negative d reflects an "undernmining effect," whereas a positive d reflects anI "enhancement effect."
Means, standard deviations, t tests, F"tests, anid sample sizes were used to calculate d values. For any study in which insufficient data were provided to calculate an effect size, we assigned ani effect of d = 0.00, anid we included those imputed
values in all analyses. All effect-size computations and summiarv analyses were
done with DSTAT (Johnson, 1993), a meta-analytic software program. Each calculation of a composite effect size is accompanied by a 95% confidence interval
(CI) (for additional methodological details, see Deci et a.u, 1999).
Results
Effects of All Rewards

Although the early discussions of extrinsic reward effects on intrinsic motivation


(e.g., deChanns, 1968) tended to consider extrinsic rewards as a unitarv concept, even
the very first investigations of this issue differentiated the concept. Dcci (1971,
1972b) distinguished between tangible rewards and verbal rewards (i.e., positive
feedback), reporting that tangible rewards decreased intrinsic motivation, while verbal rewards increased it. Furthermore, Deci (1972a) differelntiated task-contingent
rewatrds from task-noncontingenit rewards, finding that task-contingent rewards
decreased intrinsic motivation but. task-noncontingent rewards did not, and Lepper,
Greene, and Nisbett (1973) distinguished between r-ewards that were expected and
those that were uniexpected, finding that expected rewards decreased intrinsic motivation but unexpected rewards did not.
Accordingly, given that different rewards and different reward contingencies
seem to have different effects on intrinsic motivation, aggregating across all types
of rewards meta-analytically is, in a sense, a meaningless endeavor, because the outcomne will depend primarily on how many studies of eacli type of reward or reward
contingency are included in the meta-analysis (Ryan & Deci, 1996). Nonetheless,
7

Deci, Koesiner, andRyan

because Camleron and Pier ce (1994) calculated the effect of all rewards on intrinsic motivation in their meta-analysis, we also calculated it for comnparative purposes. h'I'eeffect of all types of rewards across all relevant studies revealed
significant undermining for the f'ree-choice behavioral measure of intrinsic notivation (k= 101; d=-0.24; Cl =-0.29,--0(19)2 although the overall effect for the
self-report. measure was not significant. T'hese and other nmajor results are summarized in Table 1.

As already nicitioned, we expected that all rewards would not affect intrinsic
motivation in a uniform way, and thus we both expected and found that the set of
effects for the aI-rewards category was heterogeneous. Consequently, we proceeded with more differentiated analyses of specific types of rewards, based on
both theoretical and empirical considerations. We fiTst separated studies of verbal
rewards fromn those of tangible rewards.

TABLE I
Major results of Mhe meta-analysis of tize eJfets of extrinsic rewards onfree-choice
rnlrinsirmolivation and self-reported interest, shown as Coluen's composite d
''ith k effects included

Self-reported
interest

Free-choice
behavior
d

All rewards
Verbal rewards
College
Children
Tangible rewards
Unexpected
Expected
Task noncontingent
Engagement conitingent
College
Children
Complet.on contingent
Perfornance contingent
Maximal reward
Not maximuni reward
Positive feedback control
Negative fe~edback control

-(.24*
0.33*
0.43*
0.11
0.1
-0.36*
--0.14
-0.40*
- 0.21 *
-0.43'
-0.44*
-0.284'
-0.15*
-0.88*
-0.20*
-0.03

101
21
14"
7"
92
9.34'
9"
92
7"
55
12a
39"
19,
32
18"
6"
I(P

dI

0.04
0.31*

84
21"

-0.07*
0.05
-0.07*
0.21
-0.15*

70
5"
69
5
35a

-0.17'
--O.O1

13"
29"

3"

"'These categories were not futuher differentiated and are homogeneous. Some of the studies used to cdetermine the overall conmposite effect size (i.e., for all rewards) in each mietaa.alysis had nmultiple reward conditions, so the stnms of the numbers of effect sizs in the
nmost differentiated categories of each neta-analysis are greater tian the nunmbers in the
all-rewards category. There were I50 effect sizes inthe most differentiated categories for
thc free-choice analyses, of which 6 were removed as outliers, and there were 114 effect
sizes in the most differentiated catego:ies of the self-report analyses, of which 6 were
removed as outliers.
* Significant at p < .05 or greater.
8

Extrinsic Rewards and IntrinsicMotivation

Verbal Rewar-ds (Positive Feedback)


We first tested the CET prediction that, on average, verbal rewards would
enhance intrinsic motivation. Twenty-one studies examined the effects of verbal
rewards on fire-choice itrinnsic inotivation, and 21 examined its effects on selfreports of interest. Resuilts indicated that verbal rewards enhaniced intrinsic iiotivation: br the behavioraI measure, d=0.33 (Cl= 0.18, 0.43), and for self-reports,
d=0.31 (Cl =0. 19,0.44).
However, there are two important caveats to this general finding, First, because
the set of effect sizes for verbal-reward effects on free-choice behavior was heterogeneous, we inspected the st.udies to determine whether there was any obvious pattern in the results. We noticed that the effects of verbal rewards on schoolchildren
appeared to be different from the effects on college students, so we conducted separate analyses fir schoolchildren anid college students. It turned out that verbal
rewards enhanced free-clioice intrinsic -motivationfor college students (k = 14;
d = 0.43: Cl 0 27, 0.58) but not for children (k = 7; d = 0. 11; Cl - -0. 11, 0.34),
a point that is verv important when thinking about educational practices.
Second, CET has emplhasized that although positive feedback can enhance
intrinsic motivation, it can actually underurine intrinsic motivation if it is adminiistered with a controlling interpersonal style. Five studies examined the administration of verbal rewards with an infornational versus controllinig interpersonal
style, so we did a supplemental analysis of these studies. The results indicated, as
hypothesized, that aithoughg informationally adiniistered verbal rewards enhanced
intrinsic motivation (d = 0.66; Cl = 0.28, 1.03), controllingly administered verbal
rewards underminedi intrinsic motivation (d = -0.44; Cl = --0.82, -0.07).
To summarize, research indicates that verbal rewards (i.e., positive, feedback)
tend to have an enhanicing effect on intrinsic motivation; however, verbal rewards
are less likely to have a positve effect for childsreni than for older individuals. Furthermore, verbal rewards can even have a negative effect on intrinsic motivation
if the interpersonai context within which they are administered is controlling rather
than inforniational.

Tangible Rewards
Next, we tested the CET prediction that, overall, tangible rewards (including
material rewards, such as money anid prizes, and symbolic rewards, such as trophies and good player awards) would decrease intrinsic motivation, because tangible rewards are frequently used to persuade people to do things they wouid not
otherwise do, th-at is, to control their behavior. The meta-analysis included 92 tangible reward studies with a free-choice measure and 70 with a self-report measure.
As predicted by GET, results indicated that, on average, tangible rewards significantly underminied both free-choice intrinsic motivation (d= -.34; Cl -0.39, -0.28)
aid self-reported interest (d=-0.07; Cl =--0.13, -0.01). Of course, we have regularly arguedthat afill understandingof the effects of tmgiblerewarrds requires aconsideration of additional factors such as reward contingencv and interpersonal context,
but thcse results do highlight the general risks associated with the use of tangible
rewards as a motivator.
Because age cffects had emerged for verbal rewards, we also compared the effects
of tangiblc rewards in studies of children versus coilege students. This revealed that
9

Deci, Koestner, aNd Ryan

even though tangible rewards significantly undermined intrinsic motivation for both
groups, the undermining effect was significantly greater for children than for college students on both behavioralfand self-report measures of intrinsic motivation.
The real-world implications of this patteni of results are extremwely impo(rtwat. There
is great concern about children's motivation for schoolwork, us well as for other
behaviors such as sports, art, and prosocial activities, and a study conducted by
Boggiano, Barret, Weiher, McClelland, and iusk (I987) indicated that adults tend
to view salient extrinsic rewards as an effective motivational strategy for pronioting these behaviors in children. However, the age-effect analyses indicate that,
although tangible rewards mrRay control immediate behaviors, they have negative
consequences for subsequent interest, persistence, and preference for challenge,
especially for children. Tn summa;ry, the age effects that emerged from our metaanalysis indicate that tangible rewards have a more negative effect on children than
on college students and that verbal rewards have a less positive eilcct on children
than on college students.
Unexjpected Rewards and T'ask-NoncontingentRewvards
tested
the CET prediction that unexpec ted rewards would not be detriWe next
mental to intrinsic motivation, whereas expected rewards would. The reasoning
was that if people are not doing a task in order to get a reward, they are not likely
to experience their task behavior as being controlled by the reward. The metaanalysis supported the hypothesis. Nine studies of free-choice behavior revealed
no underininig (d = 0.01 Cl = ---. 20, 0.22), and five studies of self-reported interest revealed sinilar results (d= 0.05; Cl = -().19, 0.29).
In contrast, analyses of expected rewards did yield undermining for both freechoice behavior (k -- 92: d = --0.36; Ci = -0.42, -0.30) and self-reported interest
(k = 69; d = -0.07; Cl = -0.13, -0.011). It is interesting in this regard to note that
verbal rewards are generally unexpected, and that may be one of the reasons they
do not typically have a negative efiect on intrinsic motivation.
According to CET, rewards not reqruiring task engagement should be unlikely
to affect intrinsic motivation for thie task because the rewards are not given for
doing the task. AlthoLgh relatively few studies of task-noncontingent rewards have
been done, the mteta-analysis revealed no evidence that these rewards significantly
affected either measure of intrinsic motivation (k =7; d - -0.14; Cl = -0.39, 0.11,
for free-choice behavior and k = 5; d = 0.21; Ct = -008, 0.50. for self-reported
interest).

Engagenient-ContringentRewards
E-ngagement-contingent rewar(ds are offered explicitly for engaging in an activity. Whien children were told they would get a good player award for working on an
art activity (Lepper et al., 1973), the reward was engagemniet contingent. S'imilarly
when college students were told they would receive a reward if they perforned a
hidden-figures activity, the reward was engagement contingent (Ryan et al., 1983).
lIn neither case was there a perfotnnance requiremoent: Participants did not have to
finish the task or do well on it; they simply had to work on it. More studies have
used engagement-contingent rewards uhan any other reward contingency, and that
is particularly true for studies of children. Results of the meta-analyses confinned
that engagenment-contingent rewards significanly diminished intrinsic motivation
10

Extrinsic Rewvar ds and IntrinsicMotivation

mcasured in both ways (k = 55 d = -0.40; CI = -0.48, -4.32, for free-cioice anid


k= 35; d = -).5; Cl = -0.25, -).06, for self-reports). Furthermore, the undermining on the free-choice measure, while significant for both children and college
students, was significantly stronger for children than for college students. The
strength of the undemiining on self-reports did not differ for the two groups.
Completion-ContingentRewards
The first study of reward effects On intrinsic motivation in humans (Deci, 1971)
employed completion-contingent rewards. In it, participants were offered $1 for
each of four puzzles they completed withint a specified amount of time. As already
mentioned, the pressure associated with the completion-conitinigent rewards was
greater than that associated with engagement-contingent rewards, but we expected
this to be offset somewhat by the implicit competence affirmation provided by the
rewa;rd Overall, we predicted an undermining effect for this category of rewards
comparable to that for engagement-contingent rewards (Ryan et aL., 1983).
Twenty studies examined completion-contingent reward effects om free-choice
behavior, and 15 examinled effects on self-reports. Analyses revealed that completion-contingent rewards significantly undermined intrinsic motivation for both
dependent measures. Because the effects for these rewards on free-choice behavior were heterogeneous and there were no age effects, we had to remove one outlier to achieve homogeneity. With tde outlier removed, the results were as follows:
k = 19; d = {1.44; (I = -0.59, -0.30. For self-reports, the effects were also heterogeneous, and again there were no age effects; thus, we had to remove two outliers. With these outliers removed, we also found significant undennining bv the
completion-contingent rewards (k = 13; d= -0.17; Cl = -0.33, -0.00, for selfreports). 2 As expected, the effects of engagement-contingent and completioncontingent rewards were virtually identical.
Task-C'ontingentRewards

In the first taxonomy of reward contingencies, Ryan et aL (1983) included taskcontingent rewards, and Cameron and Pierce included the category in their metaanalysis. Because thle task-contingent reward category is simply the aggregate of
engagemiienit-contingent re-wards and completion-contingent rewards, this category is
redundant. lowever, for nomparative purposes, we mention it here. rask-contingent
rewards undenrined intrinsic motivation assessed with both measures (k = 74: d =
-(.39; Cl = -0.46, ).32, for free choice and k - 48; d= -0.12; CI = -0.20, -0.04,
tor self-reports). Again, the undermining tended to be worse for children.
Performance-Con tingent Rewanrls
Fromn the standpoint of CET, performance-contingent rewards are the most
interesting type of tangible rewards. Perfomiance-contingent rewards were defined
by Ryan et al. (1983) as rewards given explicitly for doing well at a task or for performing up to a sDecified standard. Exampies of performance-contingency studies
include the Ryani et al. study, in which alt participants in the p.erformance-coningentrewards condition received $3 for "having donie well at the activity," and the
Harackiewicz, Manderlink, and Sansone (1984) study, in which participants
received a reward because thev were said to have performed better than 80% of
other participants.
1l1

Deci, Koestner, and Ryan

According to CET, perfomance-contingent rewards have the potential to affect


intrinsic motivation in two ways, one quite positive and one quite negative.
Perfomanice-contingent rewards can maintain or enhance intrinsic motivation if
the receiver of the reward interprets it informationally, as an affirmation of competence. Yet, because perfonnance-contingent rewards are often used as a vehicle
to control not only what the person does but how well he or she does it, such
rewards can easily be experiencedL as very cortrolling, thus undenrining intrinsic
motivation. According to CET, it is the relative salience of the informational versus
controlling aspects of performance-contingent rewards which deternmines their ultimate efect on intrinsic motivation.
In most experiments examining performiance-contingent rewards, all participants receive rewards as If they had done very well (which, of course, does not happen in the real world). Therefore, these studies do not address the effects of
receiving only partial rewards or no rewards under perfromiance contingencies, a
circumstanrce that is more coammon in the real world and would undoubtedly diminish both perceived competence and perceived self-determination and accordingly
have a verv negative effect on intrinsic motivation. There can thus be little doubi
that research on the effects of perfornance-contingent rewards markedlv underestimates the negative effects of this type of reward, sincc it has focused largely on
people who succeed at the contingency. In contrast, a real-world contingency in
which only those achieving above the 80th percentile receive a reward, if veridically applied, would mean that 80% of participants would end up getting no reward
and, implicitly, receiving negative competence feedback.
Thle meta-analyses for the overall effects of perfornmance-contingent rewards
included 32 studies with a free-choice measure and 30 with a self-report m easure.
Perfonnance-contingent rewards significantly undennined free-choice behavior
(d = -O 28, Cl = -0.38, -0.18), whereas results for the self-report studies were not
significant. We did not do further analyses of studies with the self-report measure
because the set of effects was homogeneous with only one outtier removed. However, the effects for the free-choice nmeasure were quite heterogeneous. Consequently, we separated the effects into four categories based on the following two
considemrtions.

First, different studies of performance-conntingent rewards have used different


control groups; specifically, some have used control groups in which participants
received neither rewards nor feedback, whereas others have used control groups in
which participants received no rewards but did receive the same feedback conveyed by the rewards to the participanlts who received rewards. In this latterinstance,
for example, if the rewards were given for doing better than 80% of the participants, participants in a no-reward control group that received feedback would have
been told that they did better than 80% of the participants.
To exanine the combined eftects of performance-contingent rewards and the
feedback inherent Within them, one would compare the rewards condition with a
no-rewards, no-feedback condition. On the other hand, to examine the effects of the
rewards per se, independent of the feedback conveyed by them, one would compare
the rewards group withl a no-rewards group that received cmnparable feedback.
Second, although the definition of perfornance-contingent rewards used in the
majonity of studies involves giving rewards to all participants as if they had pertorned well, some studies gave rewards in a way that conveyed to some or all of
12

EirtinsicRewards and Intrinsic Motivation

the participants that they had not performed well. These participarnts got less than
the maximumnavailable rewards. thus in(dicating that their competence was not
optimal. For example, in a study conducted by Rosenfield, Folger, and Adelman
(1980) that involved a feedback control grouip, rewarded participants got a small
reward for performing in the bottom 15% of all participants, anid the corresponding
control group received thc comparable "negative" feedback without the reward.
Clearly, this and other such studies are quite different from the more typical studies of performance-contingent rewards in which all participants receive the same
maximum reward for having done well.
Studies involving different types of control groups and different levels of performaince were aggregated without commient by Cameron and Pieerce (I1994). in our
meta-analysis, however, because perfonnance-contingeilu rewar d effects were not
homogeneous, we examined four categories of performance-contingent rewards
rather than simply discarding outliers as Cameron and Pierce had done. The four
categories were as ifolows: effects involving no-feedback control groups in which
everyone received the maximum possible rewards, effects involving no-feedback
control groups in whlich all participants did not receive the maximum possible
rewards, effects involving comparable-feediback control groups in which all participanits received positive feedback, and effects involving comparable feedback
control groups in which all participants received negative feedback.
With the free-choice measure, for studies that compared no-feedback control
groups and participants who received the maximum possible rewards, there was
significant undennining (k = 18; d -- 0.15; Cl = -0.3 1, -0.00).' For studies with nofeedback control groups in which all participants did not receive the laximum possible rewards, there was ailso significant undenrining (k = 6; d =--0.88; CI -1.12,
-0.65). The same was tmre for studies with comparable-feedback control groups in
which everyone received positive feedback (k = 10; d = --0.20; Cf = -- )37, -0.03).
However, for the three studies with comlparable-feedback control groups invwhich
participants received negative feedback, there was not a significant effect for reward
versus no reward.
The group in which at least some participants got less than the maximumn possible rewards and the control group received no feedback stands out and deserves
special mention. This r epresents the type of perfonnance-colitingent rewards th at
one would typically find in the real world, in that here rewards are a direct function of performance. Those who perform best get the largest rewards, and those
who perfonn less well get smaller rewards or no rewards. The analysis showed that
this type of reward had the largest undermining effect of any category used in the
entire meta-analysis (d = -0.88), indicating clearly that rewarding people as a
direct function of performance runs a very serious risk of negatively affecting their
intrinsic mrotivation.
Summary of ihe PrimaryAnalyses
To surmmarize dte primarv findings from the meta-analyses, when free-choice
behavior was used as the dependent measure, all rewards, al tangible rewards, all
expected rewards, engagement-contingent rewards, completion-contingent rewards,
task-contingent rewards, and performance-contingent rewards significantly undmernmined intrinsic miotivation. Only verbal rewards enhanced intrinsic motivation in
general, but verbal rewards (lid undennine intinlsic motivation if they were given

13

DeJi, K'evstner, and Ryay;

with a controlling interpersonal style. The undermining of intnnsic motivation by


tangible rewards was worse for children than for college students, and the enhancement by verbal rewards was weaker for children than for college students. The
most damaging reward contingency was the commonly used one of perfornancecontingent rewards in which not all participants receive maximuim rewards.
When self-reported interest served as the dependent measurc, all tangible rewards,
all expected rewards, engagement-contmigent rewards, comnpletion-contingent rewards, and task-contingent rewards signuificantly undernined intrinsic motivation.
Verbal rewards enhanced self-reported interest.
Siqpplemnental AnalYses

To fuilrher clarify the limiting conditions and mnoderator effects of rewards, we


performed two supplemental. analyses. First, to determine whet.her the undermining of intrinsic motivationi is simply a transitory phenomenon, we examrrined the
effects of tangible rewards on the free-choice behavior of children, dividing the
studies into ihrce groups: those for which intrinsic motivation was assessed immediately after the reward was terminated, those for which it was assessed a few days
later, and those for which it was assessed at least a week later. Analyses indicated
that timing of the dependent measure did not affect the results. For all tl-ree groups,
tue comnposite eflect sizes were between -0.40 and -0.53, all statistically signiticant. If anuythintig, the undermining was strongest in the studies in which the measure was taken at least a week after the rewards were given.
Second, although our primary meta-analyses included only studies for which the
target activitv was initally interesting, whereas Cameron and Plierce collapsed across
interesting and dull tasks without analyzing task effects, we conducted a set of analyses to consider this issue empiricaliy. In our first analysis, we included data from
the dull-task conditions and repeated the overall rneta-analysis. For the free-choice
analyses, every undennining el'ect that had appeared when only initially interesting tasks were included also appeared afler the dull-task conditions were added in;
for the sell-report analyses, all except one of the effects that had indicated significant undermining when only interesting tasks were used were again significant when
the dull-task conditions were included. The one exception for self-report studies was
that the inclusion of thie dull-task data led the underrmining of self-reported interest
in the comnpletion-contingent condition to drop to nonsignificance.
In our seconid analysis, we examined the 13 studies that had included both
i;teresting and dull tasks, assessing the effects of tangible rewards separately for
interesting anid dull tasks. For the I1 studies with a free-choice measure, results indicated a large undermining by rewards in the interesting-task conditions (d = -4).68;
Cl = -. 89, -).47) but not in the dull-task conditions (d = 0.18; CI= -0.03, 0.39).
For 5 studies with self-reports, there was also significant undermining with
tne interesting task (d = 0.37; Cl = --0.67, -0.07) but not the dull task (d= O.O;
C1 = -0.09. 0.40).
In summary, it is clear that rewards do not undermine people's intrinsic motivation for dull tasks because there is little or no intrinsic motivation to be under.r.ined. But neither do rewards enhance intrinsic motivation for such tasks. From
our perspective (see, e.g., Ryan & Deci, 2000; Ryan & Stiller, 1991), the issue of
promoting self-regulation of uninteresing activities is addressed with the concept
of internalization rather than reward effects on intrinsic motivation. In other words,
14

ExtrinsicRewards and Intrinsic Motivation

if a task is dull and boring. the issue is not whether the rewards will lead people to
find the task intrinsically interesting because rewards do not add interest value to
the task itself. Rather, the issue is how to facilitate people's understanding the
importance of the activity to themselves and thus intemalizing its regulation so
they will be self-motivated to perfortmi it.
Sunumary and Conclusions
'.o sunmnarize, results of the nmeta-analysis make clear that the undenmiining of
intrinsic motivation by tangible rewards is indeed a significarnt issue. Whereas verbal rewards tended to enhlance intrinsic motivation (although not for children and
not when the rewards were given coitrollingly) and neither unexpected tangible
rewards nor task-noncontingent tangible rewards affected intrinsic motivation,
expected tangible rewards did significantly and substantially undermine intrinsic
motivation, and this effect was quite robust. Furthermore, the 1Udermining was especially strong for children. Tangible rewards-both material rewards, such as pizza
patlies for reading books, and symbolic rewards, such as good stLdent. awards- --are
wideiy advocated by many educators and are used in many classrooms, yet the
evidence suggests that these rewards tend to undermine intrinisic motivation for
the rewarded activity. Because the uindermining of intrinsic motivation by tangible rewards was especially strong for school-aged children, and because studies have
linked intrinsic motivation to high-quality leaming and adjustment (e.g., Benware
& Deci, 1984; Ryan & Grolnick, 1986), tlie findings fromii this mueta-analysis are of
particular import for primary and secondary school educators.
Specifically, the results indicate that, rather thanl focusing on rewards for motivating students' learning, it is inmpotant to focus more on how to facilitate intrinsic motivation, for example, by beginning from the students' perspective to develop more
interesting leaming activities, to provi(le mnore choice, and to ensure that tasks are
optimally challenging (e.g., Cordova & Lepper, 1 96; Deci, Sclwartz, et al., 1981:
Harter, 1974; Reeve, Bolt, & Cai, 1999; Ryan & CGrolnick, 1986: Zuckerman, Porac,
Lathin, Smith, & Deci, 1978). inthese ways, we will be more able to facilitate the type
of motivation that has been found to promnote creative task engagement (Amabile,
1982), cogritive flexibility (McGraw & McCullers, 1979), and conceptual understanding of learming activitles (Benware & Deci, 1984; Grolnick & Ryan, 1987).
I he results of fle ineta-analysis also provided strong support ror CET. Specifically, the predictions made by GET, based on an analysis of whether reward types
and reward contingencies are likely to be experienced as informational or controlling, were iuiformly supported and were particularly strong for the behavioral
measure. Thus, althouglh Cameroni and Pierce argued that CET should be abandoned and stated that there is no reason for teachers to resist using rewards in the
classroom, it is clear that CET provides an excellent account of reward effects and
that there is, in fact, good reason for teachers to think carefully about when and
how to use rewards in the classroom.
Appendix

A list of each studv used in our meta-analyses. A (D) indicates an unpublished


dissertation. The second colunmn indicates types of rewards and/or reward contingencies, followed by whether participants were children or undergraduates, followed
*5

Deci, Koesiner, and Ryva

by whether the dependent measure was free-chokce behavior or self reported interest. (Codes appear in Notes to the Appendix.)

linally,

we explain whether our treat-

ment ef the siusdy and results differed fromi Camieron and "ierce's If a study was
coded die same, the samne control groups were used in the comparisons, and the
effect sizes we reported did not differ fronm the effect sizes Camtieron and Pierce
reported by more than 0. 10 in eithler direction, we noted that the study was the same
in the two iet.a-aia[yses. If there was a difference, we explained what it was.
'I'able la
and Pie,-cc,(1994)
Studies used ih our meta-analysescomipared withs C(amemno
Study

Variables

Amahbile etat, 1986, Exp. I


Amabile etaL, 1986, Exp. 3
Anderson et al., 1976

P, ],1<5

Ander son &Rodin, 1989

v, 2, S

Arkes, 1979
Amold, 1976
Arnold, 1985
Bartelne, 1983. (D)
Blmnck et 2l., 1984, Exp. I

C, 2, F, S
E, 2, S
E C', , S
P, 2,8S
VY2, F, S

Blanck et al., 1984, Exp. 2


Boggimnio &Ruble, 1979
Boggimao et al.. 1982
Bosgianor e al.. 1985

V,2.F,S
E, P, 1,
E. 1, F
F. CI , , P'

1.6

fs; 2,S.
VF. iF

Comparisom with Cam eron & E'ierce's


(1994) analysis
Same.'
Samlie.
This had multiple no- reward control
groups. We selected the one recomnmended as appropriate by the
study's authors and.comparable to
ones used for other studies in this
m5ta-analysis. C. & P.2 used a
control group that the authors said
was inappropriate, in which the
experimenter avoiled eye con tact
with the young chiddrea and ignored
their attenmpts to ill2ract, even
though there were just the two people in the room. fhe studiy's authors
said that this condition was uncomfoitable even painful for botl the
children and expennicnm
ter. Not surprisingly that group showed freechoice intrinsic motivation that
was considerably lower than any
oSher group.
Nearly the same)3 Both meta-analysts
treated the composite dependent
variable as self-report.
Samle.
Salne.
Same.
Excluded, type i.4
Same for free-chome: nearly the same,
for self-report.
Excluded, type 11.'
Excluded, type I'.
Same.
The study's authors crossed reward
contingency with salience of
reward. They referred to the two
reward continigencies as task
contingent and performance contin
gent, and C. &P. coded them that
way, treating the task-contingent
conditionis as engagement contingent.r However, the salience nianip-

Extrinsic Rewards andIntrinsu.Miotivaton


Table la (cmntinued)
Stidy

Variables

Brennan &Gilover, 1980

E, 2, F

Brewer, 980 (D)


Brockner3
& Vasta, 1981
Butler, 1987
Calder &Staw, 1975

E,P, I,FS
C, 2, F, S

Chimng, 1995
Coohen, 1974 (D)
Crino& White, 1982
Dafoe, 1985 (D)
Dtniel &Esse., 1980

E,P,D, I,F
V,P,2,PF,S
V,2, F,S
N, P, I, F, S
P,D,2, F S

V. 1,5
C,D,2,S

Comparison with Cameroni &Pierce's


(1994) analysis
ulation in the task-contingent condifion chaniged the contingency. hi the
low salience group. rewaruis were
given for similply woirking on the
puzzles. wlbich makes dienm
engagenient contingent, but in the highi
saliencet group, rewards were given
for each puizzl "rompleted," which
makes them completion
contingent.
This was engagement contingent
because participants got rewards
if they "work with the Somia
puzzle for at least 8 miniutes," but
C. &P. codled it task noncontingent.
Furtier, C. &P. combine two
control groups, including one tnat
had not worked on the task for the
sane amount of time as thc rewards
group during the experimental
perioi, but we used only the
control group that had worked
on the task fur Ihe same aunourt
of tirne.
Excluded, type 1.
Same.
Neawly the same.
'This study provided monietary rewards
for comipleting a set of puzzles, thus
making it completion conitigeLt,
but C. &P. cotled it engagemenit
contingent. Also, C. &P. collapsed
across interesting andi dull tasks.7
Excluded, type lIl.Y
Excluded, type 1.
Sa.mc.
Excludled, iype 1.
In this study, participants were told
"they could win up to $2 depending
on how quickly they correedfy
assembled the puzzles." This conveyed that the rewaruIs depended on
doing well relative to a standard and
not just on finishing the puzzles.
'Ihus, we coded it pe'fotnamce
contingenit, but C. & ' coded it
completion contingent. Also,

C. &P. collapsed across interesting


and dull tasks
Danrrer&l.onky, 1981, Exp. 2
Deci, 1971,Exp. I

Deci, 1971, Expa. 3


Dtci, 1972a

I',E, I, FiS
C. 2, F, S
V 2. F, S
N, 2, F

Nearly the samie.


Same.

Same.
Same.
continued

17

Deci, Koestner, and Ryan


Table la (continued)
Study
Deci, 1972b
Deci et at., 1975
DeLoach etaL., 1983
Dimitroff, 1984 (D)
Dollinger &Thelen, 1918

Earn, 1982

Variables
V, C' 2, F
-V,2, '
k, l,F
E, l,t S
1V P, I,F,S

\, 2, F,S

Efron. 1976 (D)


Eisenstein, 1985
Enzle et al., 1991
Fabes, 1987, Exp. I

V, E,P,2, S
U C,qD, 1,F
P, 2, F
C,P, 1,F

Fabes, 1987, Exp. 2

C, 1,F

Fabeset.id., 1986
Fabes et al., 1988

E, 1,F, s
E,1, F, S

rabes etal.. 1989


Feehan &Enzle, 1991. E.xp. 2
Gioldstein, 1977 (D)
Goldstein, 1980 (D1

E, I F
C, 2, FI
V, C, P,1, F, S
C,2, F

Greene & Iepper, 1974

lI,E,P, l.i

Griffith, 1984 (D)

E L), l,

18

Comparison with Cameron & Pierce's


(1994) analysis
Samne.
Excluded, type 11.
Same.
Excludied, type 1.
This had three tangible rewarts groups,
a verbal rewards group, amd a control
group. C. &P. inappmpriately collapsed across verbal and tagible
rewards, and hicy did not use the
free-choice data.
Rewards were given "simply for paricipating in the study" which snakes it
task noncontingent, but C. &P.
coded it engagement coltligelit.
Excluded, type 1.
Excluded, type If.
Excluded, type 11.
Same fir the I.rformance-conlingent
coidition. For the other condition,
participants were given rewards
"when they finished" a block const'rction, making it completion
contingent, hut C. &P. coded it
engagement contingent.
This study used the same procedure
as the completion-contingent
condition in [tabcs (1987, Exp. 1),
making it completion contingent,
but C. &P. coded it engagement
completiol.
Exclided, type 11.
Same for free-choice, but C. & P. did
not include the seli:report. In this
study, children selected a face
ranginrg from frown to smile to
retlect how mitch they enjoyed the
task, a procedure that is coinimon
for obtaining self-rport data from
youig children.
Excluded, twpe II.
Excluded, type 11.
Excluded, type 1.
E,xcluded, type I. This included compettion conditions but we did not use
those because compettion has a
complex effect on intrinsic motivation (Reeve &Deci, 1996).
Same for the two uiexpected groups
and the engagement-contingent
group, but C. &P. exclude the performince-coutingent group.
Excluded, type 1.To be comparable to
most other studies in this netaanalysis, we included only pautici-

Extrinsic Rewards and Intrins iMotivation


Table Ix (continued)
Study

Variables

Criffith ct al.. 1984

C, .F

Hamner& Foster, 1975

E, C D. 2, S

Haxackiewicz, 1979

V,l?,P, 1,5

Iiarackiewiez &SMamderlink, 1984


Hrrackiewicz et al., 1984, Ext:. I
Hrncekwicz ct al., 1984, Exp. 2

P, 1,S
P, 2, b, s
If, , 2, F, S

Harackiewicz et a., 1984, Exp. 3


Harackiewicz et al., 1987
Hitt etal-, 1992
Ilyman, 1985 (D)
Kamiol &Ross, 1977

P, 2, F, S
P,t,S
E,D,2, F,
E, P, I, F
E, P,I.,F

Kast & o:nn)r, 1988


Koestneret al., 1987
Kruglaski et at., 1971

V, IC ,is
V, 2, F, S
V,l,S

Krngtanaki et al., 1972


Kruglanski et al., 1975, Exp. I

U,1,S
C,l,S

Comparison witl Cameron &Pierce's


(1994) analysis
pants who worked in the individual
context.
Chiliren were ;ewardcel for finishing
reading a passage up to the bookmlark, which mnakes it completion
contingent, but C &P. coded it
engagemenit contingent. (The
MeLoyd, 1979 study used the smne
instnicdions and (. &P. iducode it
completion coltingenit.)
Same coding for completion coitinigent.
In engagement contingent, participants were paid "15 cents for thiC
20 miniute task," but C &P. coded it
as task noncootiligenl Also, C. &P.
collapsed across intcresting and dull
tasks.
Same for verbal rewards Nearly the
samue for engagement contingeit.
C. &P. excluded the two performance contu:ge::t rewards groups.
Same.
Same.
Same cuding, but C Sl P made an errof
in the self repolt effect size Iir petfoinance contingent, showirig it as
enhancement when in fact it was
underminingwithad= 0.16.
Same.
Salle.
Excluded:, Iype til.
Excluded, Iyp I.
Same except we coded the perlormance-cuntingent conditions for
whedier participants got the maximum rewards witli implicit positive
tee:lback or less tlhan maxi,r\'m
rewards with implicit negative feedl
back.
Exclided, type 11.
Same.
Rewards were given "because you
have volunteered for this study . .
so they were task noricontingent,
but (C. &P. coded them engagemenit
contingent.
Samec
Participants were rewarded cither for
the number ot coin flips they guessed
correctly or for the number of block
constructions they completed cor
iecty, making it completion contin
gent, but (.. &P. coded it
tcolntinuled
1!?

Dec!, Koestner, and Ryan

Table 1a

(continued)
Variables

Study

Kruglanski et al., 1975. Exp. 2

P, 2, S

Lee, 1982 (ID)


Lepper et at, 1973

U, E, I, F

Lepper ei al., 1982,


,iberty, 1986,Exp.
Liberty, 1986, Exp.
Lovetland &Olley,

Exp. 3
I (D)
2 (D)
i9)79

E, L '
(, 2,F,S
C, 2 , S
f. D, 1, F

Luyten &Lens, 1981

C, P,2,FP,S

McGraw &McCullers, 1979


McLoyd, 1979

C', 2, S

Morgan, 1981, Exp. I

k I,F
,

Morgan, 1981, Exp. 2


Morgan, 1983, 2xp. I

E, I. F, S
F, 1, F, S

Morgan, 1983, Exp. 2


Mynatt et al.. 1978

E. 1,F,s
E,D, 1,F

Newman &; .ayton, 1984


Ogilvie &Prior, 1982
Okmno, 1981, Exp. I
Okano, 1981, Exp. 2
Orlick &Mosher, 1978

E, D, 1,F
E, I,F
E, I, F, S
.V, E
P, S
V, U, P, 1. F

20

Comiipaison with Camerraon &Pierce's


(1994) analysis
perfoinance contingent. It explored
moderation by endogenous versus
cxogen)ous rewards.
There wer two reward groups and two
control groups. In one pair, people
worked on a stock market gamne amd
earned cash after each trial for gool
investments. T1e control group was
the saine as the experimentail group
except dtey were told they had to
give hack their earnings, so it was
not a reasnlable no-reward control
gro up. In the other pair of conditions, money was not menitioned to
the no-reward control group. We
excluded the pair of conditions
without a proper control groip, but
C. &P. collapsed aicross the two
pairs of conditions.
Excluded, type 1.
Same coding. Samie effect sizes for
engagemnnt contingent. C. &P.
made an error in calculating the
effect size for uiexpected rewards.
Exclided, type 11.
Excluded, tv'pe i.
Exciuded, tvpe 1.
Same codiirng, but C. &1. collapsed
across interesting and dull tasks.
Same for performance contingent. In
the otler rewards conditio,n participamts were paid after each of three
puzzles they solved, so it was completion contingent, but C. &P. codedr
it as engagement contingent.
Same.
Coded the same, but C. &P. collapsetl
across interesting and dull tasks.
Same on free-choice; nearly the same
on self-report.
Same.
Same on free choice; neary the sanie
on self-report.
Same.
Coded the nune, but C. &P. collapsed
across interesting and dull tasks.
Exclutded, typc 11.
Samne.
Excluded, type 11.
Excluded, type 11.
Sarrre coding for verbral amd unexpected.
Itr perlrmriance contingent, children
got rewards "if you do a good job
today md tomnorrow on the balamce

Extrinsic Rewar-ds and Intrinsic Motivation


Table la (continued)
Stidy

Variables

Pallak et al., 1982

V, U. P, I, F

Patrick, 1985 (D)


Perry, rt al., 1977
Picek, 1976 (D)
Pittman et al., 1977

E, P, I, F, S
E, 1,F, S
1: P,2, F, S
p, 2, F, S

Pithmaa

et a., 1980

V',IC, 2, F

Pitthnam et al., 1982, Exp. I

N, L, I, F

Pittnima et al., 1982, Exp. 2


Porac &Mcindl, 1982

E, I, F
C, 2, F

Pretty &Seligman, 1984, Exp. I

V, U, E, 2. F, S

Petty & Seligman, 1984, PJp. 2


Reiss &Sushinsky, 1975, Exp. I
Rosenfield et al., 1980

U E, 2, F, S
E, 1, F
P, 2, F, S

Comparison with Careitron &Pierce's


(1994) analysis
board,' but C. P.
? coded it as corinpletion contingent. There were discrepancies in the effect sizes,
Same for verbal amd unexpected.
C. & P. did not report how they
coded the tangible expected
rewards cond(ition, which wa; perfon,,ance contingent.
xciluded, type 1.
Excluded, type i.
Excludcd type i.
Same codsig but C. &P. used only
self report We also used free-choice
persistence, calculated as the
number of tials.
Same except that C. &1P.did not do an
analysis of imfonnajonal versus controlling positive feedback.
Smie eodings and netr!y thie same fieechoice cffects. C. & P. inputed a
self-report value of 0.00, but pardcipants were not asked Ihow interesting
or enjoyable they found the activity.
Nearly the same.
C. &P. coded this engagement condngent, hut participants received $1.50
for each puzzle solved. C. & P.
reported a comparison for 40 experimental and 20 control participants.
but there were only 50 participants
in the study. We calculated the
reward effect size based on a comnparison of the rewarded grou ps with
neutal and extrinsic min d sets
versus the non-rewarded groups
with neutral and extrinsic mind sets,
because that comparison provided
corresponding reward versus ntreward conditiois.
Sanre for unexpected amid engagenv ot
contingent. Nearly the sa,me for ver
bal on free-choice.
Same.
Samc.
[is study had perfonmance--contrigent,
comnpletion-contingent, and tasknoitcontingent groups, and a control
group witll feedback comiparable to
that in perfontriance contingeint.
lhere was no appropriate control
group for completion contingent or
task noncontingent. It also crossed
tamgible rewards with positive versus
coontinued

21

Deci, Koestner, andRyan


Table Ia (continued)
Comparison with Cameron &Pierce's

Stiluy

Variabes

Ross, 1975, Exp. I

E, l,:,S

Ross, 1975, Exp. 2

k, 1, F, S

Ross et al., 1976

N, E, I,F

Ryan, 1982

IC, 2, F

Ryan et al., 1983

V, E,',IC,2,F,s

Salancik, 1975

P, 2, F, S

Sansone, 1986
Sansone, 1989
Sansone et al., 1989
Sarafino, 1984
Shantb, 1981
Shiffian-Knutfmran 1990(D)

V, 2, S
17,2, S
V,2,S
Ek I, F, S
V,2, F, S
k, 1, 1, 1, S

22

(1994) analysis
negative feedback. C. &P. replrted a
verbal effect foir positive versus negative feedback, and then they collapsed across feedback to examine
tangible-reward effects. We did a
moderator analysis of rewards signiify
ing positive versus negative feedback.
C. &P. listed a perlbnnancecontingent self repon d = 2.80, but the
cotect d was 0.22. For ftee-choice,
there was a modest disepancy.
Same for free-chloice; they did int
include self-report.
Nerly the same for free-cloice; they
diui not include self-report.
Same for engagement contingent. In the
other group, children were rewarded
"for waiting," which is task noncontingent, but C .&P. coded it engagemient coitingeiit.
We included this study only in the supplemental meta-analysis of Riformational versus Controllitig verbal
rewards. C. & P. excluded it.
Same on verbal and engagemzent condngent. There were two perlormance-contingent groups, (ne
informational and one controlling.
There were three no-reward control
groups, one with informational positive feedback, one with controlling
positive ftedhack, and one witlt nofeedback. We compared performance-contingent bothi to
comparable-feedback controls
and no- feedback controls in the
moderator analyses. C. & P. did
only the comparable-feedback comparisons. Also, C. &P. did not do
an informationai-controlling
co mpaison.
Sanme coding. C. &P. collapscd across
positive and negative feedback conditions, but we did a moderator
mnalysis for positive versus negative.
Same.
Same.
Same.
Salne.
Same.
Excluded, type 1.For comparability
with other studies, we used only data
fromn the I -day assessmiients.

Extritnsic Relwards and IntrinsicMytivanion


Table la (continued)
Study

Variables

Comparison with Cameron &Pierce's


(1994) amalysis

Smith, 1975 (D)


Smith, 19S0 (D)

V, tJ,P, 2, F, S
r, D, 1, F

Excluded, type 1.
Excluded, type 1.In this studv, there
was also a condition called1positive
feedback, bit dic statements were

Smith &Pittman, 1978

P, 2, F, S

Same for self-repott. C. &P. imputed a


score of 0.00 for fiee-choice. perfor
mace, even thouigh meams and sig-

Sorensen &Maehr. 1976


Staw et al., 1980

('F, , i
(:2, S

Swann &Pittman, 1977, Exp. I


Swann &Pittmmi, 1977, Exp. 2

N, F, 1, F
E, lF'

Taub &Dolliiger, 1975


Thompson et al., 1993
Ttipathi &Agarwa], 1985
Tripathi &Agarwal, 1988

P, 2, S
E. 2.F'
V,E,2,F,S
F, P, 2, F; S

not competenice feedback.

nificance tests were reported.


Excluiued, type 11.

Participants got a $1 reward for completing 15 puzzles, miaking it coin


pletion contingent, but C. &P. coded
it engagement contingent.
Same.
There were two engagement coitiogent
groups, an engagement-contingent
plus verbad-rewards groip, and two
no-reward control groups. There was
not a control group tfr dthengage
ment pits verbal group. We compared the tw) engagement to the two
control groups, but C. &P. used alt
three reward groups.
Same.
Exciuded, type ill.
Nearly the sanut.
Same for engagement contingent on
free-choice. For peiformance costingent, there were two tasks, with

free-choice data reported ltor only


one. Both we and C. &P. used the
data for the one task mid assigned
d - 0.00 for thte other, but C. &P.
averaged the effects whereas we
combined them melta-analytically.

Vallerand, 1983
Valleramd &Reid, 1984
Vasta&Stirpe, 1979

V,l,S

Weinberg &Jackson, 1979

P, 2,S

'

,2,S

C, I,F

In the self-report data, C. &P. consbined Ihe engagemeint and perfor


malice conditions, so it is unclear
which analysis they werc used in.
Same.
Sanme.
7'his study had pre-post data for a
rewards group and a control group.
C. &P. diti pre-post analyses for the
rewards group and ignored the control group. We compared the
rewards group to the control group
with pre-post analvses. We coded it
rcompletion contingent, but C. & P.
did not code it.
Same.
continued

23

Deci, Koestner, and Ryan

Table Ia ocominued)
Variables

Study
Weimer, 1980

C, 2, F, S

Weiner &Mlander, 1978


Williatns 19SC
Wilson, 1978 (D)
Witnperis &Farr, 1979

E,

Yuen, 1984 tl))


Zinser, 1982

E, 2, 1, S
V. I, P

Note.

,2r, s
1, F, S
E, D, 2, F S
N, C 2, S

Comparison with Camieron &Pierce's


(1994) analysis
p'ariicipants received $.25 foreach aagram completed, which :nakes it
completion contingent, but C. &P.
coded it perfroniance contingent.
Same.
Same.
Excluded, type 1.
In one group, participarits received
$1.75 for being in the study, making
it task noncontingent, but C. &P.
coded it engagement contingent. In
the other, participants "were paid
for each mnodel or subunit compieted," making it completion coningeit, but C. &P. coded it
porifrmance contingent.
Exciuded, type l.

Same.

ID) - Unpublished Disserttion; V 5Verbal Rewards: L1= Unexpected T'angible Rewards;

N = Task-Nonconingert Rewards; E = Engagement-Contingent Rcwards; C = Completion-Contingent

Rewards; P = Peifianuance-Contingent Rewards; D = Dull-Task condition inclu:ded in study md used


in supplemenital meta-analysis; IC- Inlomziationial versus CGmnolling comparison was made in supplenwenlal tmet-analysis. The code of I maeans the participants were children and the code of 2 means
they were undergraduates. Finally, F.rnens that the fIree-choice dependenit measure was Dsed and
S mscans that the self-report measure was used.
: Sane means Ihat Cameron and Pierce and we coded the study the same, used the same control groups,
and found effects sizes that didi not differ from eacih other by more that 0.10 in cither direction.
C. &P. refers to Cameron and Pierce.
Neariy the sunte mreans the studies were coded the saern and the same control gioups were nsed, but
that the effect sizes were different by more than 0.10, probably due to dilferences in estimation of saimdard deviahtons. If thc discrepancy is huge, we make note of ihat.
4 "Excluded, type i" refers t) tissertations. and C(ameron and Pierce excluded all dissertations.
'I"Excluded, type 1" refers to studices that Cameron and Pierce excluded for no apparent reason.
Cameron and 'ierce (' 994) did not use the term "engagement-contingent." When we say they coded
a resard. engagement-contigent; it means that tihcy coded it as both "tasl.r-contingent" and wha they
relerred to as "not conatngent using a behaviOral dcfinition." Because tte iniersection of those two codes
is equLivalent to our cngagernent-contingent code, we say that they coded it as engagement-contingent
to mininmaie confusion for the renler. Similarly, they did not use the teni cornpletion-coatingent, but
what they coded as both "task-contingent" and "contingent using a behavioral definition" is equivalent
to what we call coinplethfn- ontingerrt.
I These studies used both interesting at uninteresting tasks. We excluded tic uninteresting.tasks from
tle priniary meta-analyses mad included tlem in the supplemental mreta-malysis concemed with inital
taskinterest. Cameton anid Pierce collapsed awross the interesting and dull tasks even though it has been
fniilv established in the, fiteratire that initial task interest interacts with reward effects.
"F.xcluded. type II;" refers Is studies thMttCameron and Pierce excluded becamse they were published
after Cameron and Pierce' s cut- off dat.

Notes
'Thc value k reps esents the tnmber of effects considered in calculating a composite
effect size. 13ecause, for any given calculation, the data were aggregated across all relevant
condidons witlin a study in order to enstive independenkce of effect sizes, k also represents

24

EKtctinsic Rewards and Intrinsic Motivation


the number of studies that were included in the calculation of a composite effect size. The
value d iepresents the composite effect size corrected for reliability (-edges & 1kin,
1985). In regard to Cls, if both endpoints are on the same side of 0.00, it indicates that the
mean for the reward groups is significantly different from the mean for the no-reward
groups.
2
Although one endl of the, Cl appears to be 0.(X), it was actually slightly negative and was
rounded to 0.00. A significance test indicated that the composite effect size was significant.

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Authors
EDWARD L. DECI is Professor of Psychology, Department of Clinical and Social Sciences
in Psychology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627; deci@psych.rochester.edu.
His research examiines the effects of social contexts on motivation and self -determination
as they relate to effective functioning in various real-world domains.
RICHARD KOESTNER is Associate Professor of Psychology. McGill University, 1205 Dr.
Penfield Avenue, Montreal, Quebec H3A IB1, Canada; koestner@hebb.psycl.nmcgill.ca.
He is a clinical psychologist wvhose research focuses on factors affecting the development
and maintenance of motivation and self-regulation in personality.
RICHARD M. RYAN is Professor of Psychology, Department of Clinical aid Social Sciences
in Psychology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627; ryanpsych.rochester.edtu.
A clinical psychologist, he specializes in motivation, self-determination, and well-beinlg,
and their application to numenrous areas including the impact of educational reform.

27

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